The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has secured funding through the White Rose Forest, the community forest for North and West Yorkshire, to support woodland creation in the park.
The grant will deliver tree planting within the Swale, Ure, Nidd and Ouse (SUNO) catchment that is designed to help prevent flooding within communities further downstream.
Trees can play an important role in natural flood management by soaking up water runoff from hillsides that could otherwise increase river levels and cause damaging flooding within communities further down the river valley.
Over the next three months the Trees & Woodlands team at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority will identify an initial 25 hectares of land within the SUNO catchment with a view to working with farmers and landowners to identify at least a further 300 hectares of potential planting schemes over the next four years.
Ian McPherson, member champion for the natural environment at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “This new agreement, in addition to the one we recently signed with the Woodland Trust, will really help to kickstart our shared ambition for 6,000 hectares of new native woodland in the national park by 2030.
“The grant paves the way for the introduction of a dedicated woodland officer for the region, to help farmers and landowners to identify ideal locations for new planting schemes, and to access the funding that is now available.
“Tree planting is vital in helping us tackle the climate emergency, and in bringing important benefits for biodiversity, wildlife and water quality. It is also going to become an important future source of revenue to support farm businesses across the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”
Guy Thompson, White Rose Forest programme director, said: “We know that trees are a powerful natural flood management tool.
“Our White Rose Forest Landscapes for Water planting programme focusses on the strategic planting of trees in our upper river valleys to help protect communities further downstream from potentially devastating future flooding events.
“Planting trees in the Swale, Ure, Nidd and Ouse catchment could help protect communities as far afield as York and is a key part of our landscapes for water work. We’re therefore delighted to be able to support the national park with this new funding agreement.”
The funding awarded to the Yorkshire Dales National Park comes from the White Rose Forest’s trees for climate fund.
Trees for climate is a funding package from the Government’s mature for climate fund awarded to England’s community forests, including the White Rose Forest.